Friday, May 30, 2008

Brea Souders' Time Between

I received an e-mail from Brea Souders today with a link to her most recent series Time Between. In the statement on her website, Souder's states:

"The photographs in this series are interpretations of superstitions that I have collected from various sources, including old texts, internet forums and word of mouth...I’m interested in the way superstitions act as portals to a childhood sensibility, and can transform an ordinary scene into a mysterious tableau, rich with new meaning."

Also make sure to check out her project Living Water, which contains some truly wonderful portraits.

From Top To Bottom:

Bath, 2008

Eggshells, 2008

Caught, 2008

Spilt Milk, 2008

All Images © Brea Souders

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kent Rogowski's Love=Love

I came across Kent Rogowski's project Love=Love today. Comprised of large scale photographs of mismatched puzzle piece compositions, the images in Love=Love are rendered as fantastical landscapes inspired by traditionally bucolic imagery. In the press release for Rogowski's show at the Jen Bekman Gallery, it states:

"In photographing his completed objects, Rogowski transforms them yet again. Shifting the scale of the photographic image modulates the grid-like uniformity produced by the borders of the puzzle pieces, diminishing or increasing the order they exert over the chaos of the constructed image."

Kent Rogowski's Love=Love
Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring Street
New York, NY
Through Saturday June 14th

From Top To Bottom:

Untitled #4, 2006

Untitled #2, 2006

Untitled #7, 2007

Untitled #9, 2008

All Images © Kent Rogowski

The Polaroid Portrait Challenge

JPG Magazine has teamed up with Flak Photo and File Magazine to celebrate the wonders of Polaroid with the Polaroid Portrait Challenge. The website states:

"Polaroid photos are almost magical. The whir of the camera gears moving, the slow process of the image appearing, and the beautiful softness and color palette of the final image all make the process distinct. Even though the days of Polaroid film may be numbered, let's celebrate in style."

All interested photographers have until June 7th to submit polaroids. The chosen images will run as a feature in JPG issue 17.

Thanks to Andy over at Flak Photo for the head's up!

From Top To Bottom:

Dragonflies In Flight, Thelma Blizzard

Are you Glad To See The Back Of ME?, Claire Sambrook

Images © The Artists

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Drew Kelly's Far West

I received an e-mail today from Drew Kelly, who wrote to share some images from his new series Far West. Taken while on a recent trip to China, Kelly's images thoughtfully show the existing dichotomy between China's deep-rooted cultural history and the profusion of Western influence that has overtaken the culture and the landscape.

Also, make sure to check out Kelly's project Explorations, which possesses some equally interesting images.

Photographs from the series Far West

Images © Drew Kelly

Dan Graham's Rock My Religion

In the early 80's conceptual artist Dan Graham made Rock My Religion, a film that endeavored to understand the links between rock music and religion in contemporary culture. In a description of the film on the Ubuweb site, it states:

"Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the "reeling and rocking" of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock's sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America."

The film is almost a full hour long, but is well worth the time. It feels particularly applicable to American culture even today, almost 25 years after its release. The evangelical crusade against the "subversiveness" of popular culture, and specifically against rock & roll, makes Graham's film an interesting meditation on religious and cultural ideologies.

Image © Dan Graham

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mariliana Arvelo's Generations

Mariliana Arvelo's project Generations explores the different and fluctuating stages of family experience. Photographed between Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Generations project hints at the importance, however difficult, of maintaining familial and cultural connection despite geographic separation. As Arvelo states:

" I’m curious to explore who we are in a specific moment and how are relationships grow and change."

Also, Arvelo currently has a few pieces from the Generations series on view at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston as part of their 13th Annual Juried Exhibition.

From Top To Bottom:

Beatriz, Punta Cana 2007

Untitled #11, Punta Cana 2007

Beatriz and a branch, Punta Cana 2007

Self-portrait #1, Cambridge Ma 2005

All Images © Mariliana Arvelo

Sunday, May 25, 2008

At Long Last...

I have finally restructured and updated my website. It was a somewhat laborious process, but the results are quite rewarding. I would love some feedback on the work/site if anyone is willing to offer it. Thanks!
-Ben Alper

Sunroom, Watertown, MA 2008

Image © Ben Alper

Joakim Eskildsen's The Roma Journeys

I found the work of Joakim Eskildsen via the French webmag Purpose. His extensive series The Roma Journeys chronicles the lives and struggles of Roma people in 7 countries. For anyone unfamiliar with the word Roma, as I was, it refers to a wandering nomadic people of a dispersed ethnic group spread across Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Although they predominately live in permanent housing, the Roma are still largely considered a nomadic culture.

From Top To Bottom:

The Morning Bus, Hevesaranyos

Winter I, Hevesaranyos

The Kiss, the Eggs, and the Madonnas, Hevesaranyos

Seija's Room I, Masala

Winter V, Hevesaranyos

All Images © Joakim Eskildsen

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Website Update

Fellow Exposure Project member Anastasia Cazabon has updated her website with two new galleries of photographs, Home and From The Secret World. Also, Cazabon has begun development on a book that will unite her From The Secret World images with the writings of Nik Rivinus. Check back for further details.

Images © Anastasia Cazabon

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Image A Week: Thekla Ehling

I discovered the work of Thekla Ehling this past weekend at the New York Photo Festival. Her new monograph Sommerherz (Summer Heart) was on display at the Schaden table. Limited to an edition of 150 books, each handmade by the artist herself, the work in Sommerherz addresses "memories of childhood, warmth and the joyous and sad emotions of growing up."

You can see more of Ehling's work here.

Images © Thekla Ehling

Criterion Collection Releases The Delirious Fictions of William Klein

Acclaimed street photographer/filmmaker William Klein has recently been given the Criterion Collection treatment. The Delirious Fictions of William Klein box set includes the films Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), Mr. Freedom (1969) and The Model Couple (1977), which have all been digitally remastered and are now available for your viewing pleasure. Below are the informative Criterion synopses.

The Model Couple

In 1977 France, the Ministry of the Future chooses two "normal," white, middle-class citizens, Claudine (Anémone) and Jean-Michel (André Dussolier), for a national experiment. They will be monitored and displayed for six months in a model apartment outfitted with state-of-the-art products and nonstop surveillance—the template for "a new city for the new man." A searing satire of the breakdown of individual freedoms in the face of increasing governmental control, William Klein's The Model Couple deftly investigates the fine line between democracy and totalitarianism.

Mr. Freedom

William Klein moved into more blatantly political territory with this hilarious, angry Vietnam-era spoof of imperialist American foreign policy. Mr. Freedom (John Abbey), a bellowing good-ol'-boy superhero, decked out in copious football padding, jets off to France to cut off a Commie invasion from Switzerland. A destructive, arrogant patriot in tight pants, Freedom joins forces with Marie Madeleine (a satirically sexy Delphine Seyrig) to combat lefty freethinkers, as well as the insidious evildoers Moujik Man and inflatable Red China Man, culminating in a star-spangled showdown of kitschy excess. Delightfully crass, Mr. Freedom is a trenchant, rib-tickling takedown of gaudy modern Americana.

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?

After a nearly decade as New York Vogue's most subversive fashion photographer, William Klein made this wild, pseudovérité peek into the world of Parisian haute couture. Elegant, scathing humor ties together the various strands of this alternately glamorous and grotesque portrait of American in Paris Polly Maggoo (Dorothy MacGowan), a mannequin-like supermodel who becomes the pinup plaything of media hounds and the fragmented fantasy of haunted Prince Igor (Sami Frey). Klein's first fiction film is a daring deflation of cultural pretensions and institutions, dressed up in ravishing black and white.

Still from Mr. Freedom (dir. William Klein, 1969)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bernd and Hilla Becher: Landscape/Typology at MOMA

Tomorrow marks the opening of Bernd and Hilla Becher: Landscape/Typology at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Curator Peter Galassi has endeavored to juxtapose the Becher's two descriptive, yet antithetical methods of representation- the landscape and the typology.

"The typologies emulate the clarity of an engineer's drawing, while the landscapes evoke the experience of a particular place. The exhibition presents these two formats together; because they lie at the polar extremes of photographic description, each underscores the creative potential of the other."

Bernd and Hilla Becher: Landscape/Typology
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY
May 21–August 25, 2008
Gallery Talk: Thursday, June 19 @ 1:30pm

Image © Bernd and Hilla Becher

Kathryn Parker Almanas

Kathryn Parker Almanas' photographs share an uncanny resemblance to 19th century European still life paintings. Her acute attention to light and shadow gives her images the chiaroscuro reminiscent of these European masters. Also, be sure to check out Almanas' Medical project on her website.

Finally, Almanas was recently included in the monograph 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers. You can find more information about the book here.

From Top To Bottom:



Breakfast I

Blood Oranges

All Images © Kathryn Parker Almanas

Monday, May 19, 2008

exposure 2008 at the PRC

The 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition opens May 23 at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. Curated by Lesley Martin, publisher of the book program at Aperture, this year's show includes work from:

Mariliana Arvelo, Clint Baclawski, Claire Beckett, Cree Bruins, Lana Z Caplan, Talia Chetrit, Martine Fougeron, Robert Knight, Molly Landreth, Marta Labad, Benjamin Lowy, Eric Percher, Erik Schubert & Ellen Susan.

For anyone in the Boston area this Thursday, there will be an opening at the PRC from 5:30-7:30pm.

exposure 2008: The 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition
832 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
May 23- July 2, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday May 22 from 5:30-7:30pm

Congratulations to our friend Mariliana!

Free and Hazel (Ages 12 & 8) #1, Roslindale, Massachusetts, 2006

Image © Robert Knight

New York Photo Festival Recap

I had the chance to attend the New York Photo Festival this weekend in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The festival, touted as "the future of contemporary photography", brought together an international cast of photographers with projects ranging across the boundaries of the medium. Broken up into four main curated exhibitions by Martin Parr, Lesley Martin, Tim Barber and Kathy Ryan, the photography on view was largely grouped into typologies based on the interests of their curators. Martin Parr's exhibit, ironically called New Typologies, brought together work from contemporary explorers of the typology: WassinkLundgren, Donovan Wylie, Jeffrey Milstein, Jan Banning, Sarah Pickering, Ananké Asseff, Michel Campeau, and Jan Kempenaers.

Working typologically has become an ingrained photographic tradition ever since the Becher's legitimized the method almost 50 years ago, not to mention August Sander before them. It can be a wonderfully descriptive and revelatory way to illuminate subject matter, however, the photographers in the New Typologies show, with a few exceptions, brought little that felt refreshing and new. Michel Campeau's Darkroom series was one of these exceptions while WassinkLundgren's Empty Bottles series might be the other. Campeau's approach is interesting in that he does not execute every photograph in a rigid, uniform way. The importance of his study is derived from a specific place, not necessarily from his homogeneous execution in photographing the contents of that space. WassinkLundgren's project comprising photographs of people picking up deliberate placed empty bottles in urban environments is a more interesting concept than it is a visually stimulating body of work. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the presentation.

The Lesley Martin curated exhibit The Ubiquitous Image was the most conceptually-driven show at the festival. Comprised of works by Joachim Schmid, Claudia Angelmaier, Marco Breuer, Penelope Umbrico, Harrell Fletcher, Natalie Czech, Curtis Mann, Robert Bowen, Peter Piller, and Useful Photography, the artists in this exhibit all commonly shared tendencies to push and expand the boundaries of photographic representation. Heavily rooted in Post-Modern practice, many of these artists employed appropriation, manipulation, rephotography and repetition of imagery. Harrell Fletcher's project of appropriating photographs from strangers wallets, scanning them, printing them out at a much larger size, framing them and hanging them on the wall, calls into question issues of artistic authorship and the authenticity of the art object. In this way, the questioning of the unique role, or vision, of the artist as creator brought a nice cohesion to Martin's exhibit.

Various Photographs curated by Tim Barber, the former photo editor for Vice magazine, brought together over 300 images from both well established and lesser known photographers. Set up in long, often visually overwhelming rows of small framed photographs, Various Photographs was an exploration of the banal, everyday moments and spaces that photography has the power transcend. Although there were some absolutely wonderful images, their impact was often lessened by their proximity and relationship to less inspired photographs. Above all, Barber's exhibit is evidence that the stylistic preference for "snapshots" is alive and well.

Finally, Kathy Ryan's curatorial effort Chisel was the most eclectic offering at the festival. Bringing together the work of Roger Ballen, Raphaël Dallaporta, Julian Faulhaber, Andreas Gefeller, Stephen Gill, Alejandra Laviada, Simon Norfolk, Horacio Salinas, Lars Tunbjörk and Katherine Wolkoff, Chisel was a nice amalgam conceptual and traditional work. I frankly don't understand where the name Chisel is derived from, however, the work was quite thought-provoking. Alejandra Laviada's work was quite beautiful. I've been familiar with her photographs for a while now, but seeing her work in person gave the work a different depth. The intersection between photography and sculpture in Laviada's work is self-referential without being pretentious, personal yet universal. I also quite enjoyed Andreas Gefeller's aerial observations and Roger Ballen's surrealist portraits and still lives.

If this year's offering is any indication, the New York Photo Festival promises to be an exciting forum for "the future of contemporary photography."

From Top To Bottom:

WassinkLundgren, from the series Empty Bottles

Michel Campeau, from the series Darkroom

Claudia Claudia Angelmaier, Kopf eines Rehbocks, 2004

Joachim Schmid

Catherine Lutes

Julian Faulhaber

All Image © The Artists

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New York Photo Festival '08

The New York Photo Festival is officially in full swing in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Curated by Martin Parr, Lesley Martin, Tim Barber and Kathy Ryan, the festival aims to bring together the "future of contemporary photography." And from the looks of it, this seems hard to deny. There is an eclectic and talented group of artists on view, which include:

Claudia Angelmaier, Ananké Asseff, Roger Ballen, Jan Banning, Robert Bowen, Marco Breuer, Michel Campeau, Natalie Czech, Raphaël Dallaporta, Julian Faulhaber, Harrell Fletcher, Andreas Gefeller, Stephen Gill, Jan Kempenaers, Alejandra Laviada, Curtis Mann, Jeffrey Milstein, Simon Norfolk, Sarah Pickering, Horacio Salinas, Joachim Schmid, Lars Tunbjörk, Penelope Umbrico, WassinkLundgren, Hank Willis Thomas, Katherine Wolkoff and Donovan Wylie.

There will also be dozens of artist talks and panel discussions taking place throughout the duration of the festival. So, many in fact that your best bet would be to just refer to the Events Calendar portion of their website.

The festival website is quite comprehensive and will undoubtedly have the answer to any question you may have. So, check it out.

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Image A Week: Edgar Martins

Edgar Martins' images explore (often dramatically) the psychology of space. There is a distinct alienation and surreality present in the spaces depicted in his photographs, which through the drama of light and dark take on the quality film stills. According to the artist, his work is:

"A stage for the encounter with the everyday, my work calls to our attention that all is flow, all boundaries are provisional, all space is permeable. It is the setting for spatial and temporal dislocation.”

Martins new monograph Topologies was recently published by Aperture. You can see more of Martins work on his website.

Photograph from the series The Accidental Theorist

Image © Edgar Martins

Monday, May 5, 2008

Christian Boltanski Documentary

I came across an hour long documentary about the conceptual artist Christian Boltanski tonight. For anyone who knows, or for that matter doesn't know, Boltanski's work this film will either be a wonderful introduction or a nice addition to what you already know. In either case, it's a fascinating portrait of an important artist.

Image © Christian Boltanski

S.E. Mandle's Reconciliation

S.E. Mandle's project Reconciliation explores the history and psychology of religious repentance. Photographed solely in confessional booths, the images from Reconcilation delve into infinite personal histories which are at once unknowable, yet universally understandable. Whether in a religious context or not, the admission of sin, or wrongdoing, is an unequivocal part human existence. In some way or another, we all seek forgiveness from the people we've hurt and for the actions that have been less than admirable. This human universality prominent in Mandle's work gives the images a deep emotional and psychological resonance. In addition to being a wonderful photographer, Mandle is also a truly eloquent writer.

"Confessionals hold and absorb the penitent's voice and breath. While photographing these spaces I thought about the individuals who confessed there- repeating identical prayers, revealing individual confessions, receiving absolution, leaving a trace of their self in the architecture of the confessional. Through these layers of human presence each person sought grace and repentance."

Mandle's thesis exhibition is currently on view at Mass Art. Everyone in the Boston area should do their best not to miss it.

Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery
621 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
M-F 10am-6pm, Sat. 11am-5pm

All Images © S.E. Mandle

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Work In Progress: New Photographs By Adam Marcinek

Here are some new images the I recently shot in my family's now closed business. Comments always welcome.

Images © Adam Marcinek